April 26, 2016.

I adore Diana Pharaoh Francis’ Horngate Witches Series, so I jumped at the chance to read her new Diamond City Magic series. And, boy, do the books live up to my expectations! Urban fantasy mixed with magic, romance and adventure…what’s not to love!

 

 

Title: Whisper of Shadows (The Diamond City Magic Novels)

Author: Diana Pharaoh Francis

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Bell Bridge Books

Release date: April 2016

Pages: 218

ASIN: B01DLGC7OQ

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

 
 

DESCRIPTION:
War is coming . . .

 

When the FBI uses an anti-magic law to arrest and torture Riley’s boyfriend, they have no idea what hell they are about to unleash. If Riley can’t rescue Clay before he breaks, the result will be a disaster of epic proportions.

 

With time running out, Riley and her family must rely on two people more likely to stab them in the back than actually help. And, even if Riley manages the rescue, she’s still got to deal with two kidnappings and the return of her dad from the dead–the same dad who’d been willing to see her dead to protect his secrets.

 

What’s a girl to do? Kick ass, take names, and protect those she cares about at all costs.

 
 

REVIEW:
Whisper of Shadows begins where book two ended, right in the middle of Riley confronting her mobster-like father for abandoning her as a child…or about how he set a magical trap in her brain that nearly killed her. But things become sidetracked when the FBI raid the house and arrest her boyfriend Clay on suspicions of having some fictional magical talent that could put the whole city at risk if triggered. The law has a week to file charges, during which time they will use any means they deem necessary to discover Clay’s hidden talent and pry out his every secret. Unsure if they were truly after Clay or trying to bring down his brother’s criminal dynasty, Riley and her family are determined to rescue him, but they never excepted the pure hell they’d have to endure just to survive.

 

Diana Pharaoh Francis has a talent for crafting an intricate world of magic and mobsters. The non-stop action kept me at the edge of my seat, and I absolutely loved the pure grittiness and violence of the story. While I enjoyed learning about the many fascinating magical talents, things became a little convoluted as Riley tried to figure out the limits to her gift. I applaud Riley’s never quit attitude, but it left me with mixed feelings…there didn’t seem to be anything that she couldn’t fix. That said, the storyline was just so good, I didn’t mind. While I enjoyed this book, it wasn’t as strong as the previous two. Whisper of Shadows ended on a cliffhanger, where only part of the mystery was solved. It left me feeling that the book was unfished…or maybe I just desperately waited to find out what happens next!?! These books need to be read in order.

 

Previous books in the series:

 



April 23, 2016.

StackingShelves

Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, is all about sharing the book you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual.

 

What I purchased last week:

 

All of these books were $0.99 or $1.99 with the exception of The Player ($3.82 – only a couple of pennies discount, but I still grabbed it), Hidden Huntress and Rescuing the Bad Boy (both on sale for $2.99).
 
I failed horribly at restraint this week. 🙁 I blame it on procrastination and all those good sales! lol

 

I managed to be a little more selective when choosing free books this week.
Here are a couple of free books that are still available:

 
I’m really excited to read these books! Lots of great reviews on them. What books did you get last week? Have you read any of these?
 
 



April 19, 2016.

I read the first book in The Scorpius Syndrome and loved the mystery of a virus that swept over the world, consuming the human population and either killing them or making them something…else. When I saw book two available, I snatched it up, wanting to see more from this world and author.

 

 

Title: Mercury Striking (The Scorpius Syndrome)

Author: Rebecca Zanetti 

Genre: Dystopian Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Zebra

Release date: January 2016

Pages: 384

ISBN-10: 1420137948

ISBN-13: 978-1420137941

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

 

DESCRIPTION:
With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynne Harmony has trekked across a nightmare landscape to find one man—a mysterious, damaged legend who protects the weak and leads the strong. He’s more than muscle and firepower—and in post-plague L.A., he’s her only hope. As the one woman who could cure the disease, Lynne is the single most volatile—and vulnerable—creature in this new and ruthless world. But face to face with Jax Mercury…

 

Danger has never looked quite so delicious…

 

REVIEW:
Lynne Harmony worked as the head for the CDC when a viral infection took over the world. Those infected either die or turn into a sociopath. Lynn survived the infection with an experimental cure, but never imagined that would be the easy part. On the run from the new government (and her psychotic ex-boyfriend), Lynne flees to the one place that means safety and possibly a way to create a viable cure…and right into the arms of Jax Mercury. He is stubborn and sexy and the only hope people have for a future fee of the virus. They just have to survive the end of the world first.

 

Sparks fly between Jax and Lynne the instant they meet. I enjoyed their banter and attraction, but when the romance became the focus of the story, their connection felt a bit forced. In a number of places, the action completely stopped while they where in their own world. I could set the book down without feeling anxious to rush back to it, which is a shame because it was such a great story. Rebecca Zanetti creates a fascinating dystopian future. I really enjoyed the virus, the graphic violence and the psychotic bad guys. While Lynne was brilliant, brave and a resourceful character, it was Jax who held the focus of the story for me. Talk about dominate alpha male! He is definitely the guy you want with you during the apocalypse. Not to mention super sexy! Overall, Mercury Striking is a good book that turned out to be equally parts sexy and dystopian…a bit of a distracting combination. I would suggest reading the books in order.

 
 

Previous books in the series (The first book is part of this anthology):

 
 



April 16, 2016.

StackingShelves

Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, is all about sharing the book you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual.

 
What I purchased last week:

 

I managed to contain myself this week and purchased only three books. Apparently, reading cures the need to purchase new books. Go figure!
Two were $0.99, while one was $3.99 – I couldn’t resist getting Ink and Bone.

 

I did pick up a few free books. The books below are still available for free:

 

It’s back to writing for me this week. It’s been about a week, and I’m surprised at how much I missed it! What books did you find? Have you read any of these? Curious minds want to know. 🙂

 



April 11, 2016.

I have a couple books from Jenna Black in my library, but I haven’t had a chance to read them yet. When I learned she was starting a new YA Horror series, I jumped on the chance to find out more. Just look at the creepy-beautiful cover! Horror is right up my alley…a city that comes alive with magic—how could I resist?!

 

 

Title: NightStruck

Author: Jenna Black 

Genre: Young Adult Horror

Publisher: Tor Teen via NetGalley

Release date: April 2016

Pages: 303

ASIN:B010M278AU

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

 

 

 
DESCRIPTION:
The night is the enemy, and the city of Philadelphia is its deadliest weapon.

 

Becket is an ordinary teenage girl, wrestling with the upheaval of her parents’ divorce. A studious high school senior, her biggest problems to date have been choosing which colleges to apply to, living up to her parents’ ambitious expectations for her, and fighting her secret crush on her best friend’s boyfriend. But that all changes on the night she tries to save an innocent life and everything goes horribly wrong.

 

Unbeknownst to her, Becket has been tricked into opening a door between worlds, allowing a dark magic into the mortal world. As the magic trickles in, the city begins to change at night. Strange creatures roam the streets, and inanimate objects come to life, all of them bloodthirsty and terrifying. The city returns to normal when the sun rises in the morning, and no one can capture the strange changes–such as potholes turning into toothy mouths and wires turning into strangling vines–on film, which prompts the government to declare that the city has been infected with some kind of madness and must be quarantined. Meanwhile, venturing out of one’s house at night has become a dangerous proposition, and the moment the sun sets, most of the citizens of the city shut themselves up in their houses and stay there even in the case of dire emergencies.

 

The magic is openly hostile to most mortals, but there are some individuals it seems to covet, trying to lure them out into the night. While Becket struggles to protect her friends and family from predatory creatures of the night, she is constantly tempted to shrug off all her responsibilities and join them. Joining the night world means being free of not just responsibility, but conscience, and it means no longer caring about the fate of others.
 
 

REVIEW
Becket is a loner, struggling through her senior year of school, when she began to notice odd things happening around her. It all started when she’d tried to help a stranger, and they vanished before her eyes. With one drop of blood, she’d accidently opened a portal between worlds and allowed dark magic to escape. Now, magic has infecting the city, turning it deadly. Anyone who ventures out at night is at risk of dying or worse…being turned into one of the creature of the night. In order to save the boy she’s falling in love with, Becket must decide what she is willing to sacrifice…or loose everything.

 

The book started off slowly, the mystery taking a long time to develop as we’re dragged step-by-step into Becket’s mundane life. When I read this book was horror, I was really excited, but Becket didn’t really work for me—she was just too young and naïve to carry the weight of the story to do it justice. While she did display a few sparks of courage, there was nothing daring or kick-ass about her to keep me interested. Once the creepy-crawlies of the night word came to life, I found my interest peaking. I loved the imagination, but just when it felt like we were getting somewhere, the tension vanished with Becket’s lack of courage. The city has been under siege for months, but Becket seemed to be a bystander in her own story, only taking action when forced and not even then. Major disappointment. When it looked like the book might turn around, the story ends abruptly in a big cliff-hanger. So, while I really enjoyed the unique horror ambiance, I’m not sure I care enough about Becket to read book two. *bummer* Wonderfully creep world! Too bad the characters failed to live up to the adventure…

 
 



April 09, 2016.

StackingShelves

Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, is all about sharing the book you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual.

 

What I purchased last week:

 

All of these books were $0.99 or $1.99. I was doing really good at limiting my purchases when I received an offer from Kobo that I couldn’t pass up. I purchased the below books from Kobo at 40% off using a combination gift certificates and special offers (links go to amazon):

 

Here are a few free books still available:

 

So how did you do this week? Did you get anything interesting?

 



April 07, 2016.

I’ll admit the cover is the first thing that caught my attention on this book. It lured me into peeking at the blurb. Magic and dragons and griffins…Sold! What a perfect read!

 

 

Title: Ancient Magic (Dragon’s Gift: The Huntress Book 1)

Author: Linsey Hall 

Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Bonnie Doon Press via NetGalley

Release date: April 2016

Pages: 199

ASIN: B01DTVV18G

 

Rating: ★★★★½ 

 

DESCRIPTION:
Cass Clereaux is good at two things: finding treasure and killing demons. Lying low is a close third—but not because she wants to be good at hiding. Cass is a FireSoul, one of the unlucky few to inherit a piece of the dragon’s soul. Being born with the dragon’s covetousness should be a sweet gig—she has the power to find and steal any type of treasure, including the powers of other supernaturals.

 

But it doesn’t come without a price – stealing powers requires that she kill, and others would destroy her if they discover what she is. In a world full of magic, hiding her powers is the only way to survive. Finding magical artifacts and killing demons are the only ways to pay the bills. It’s a dangerous job when you can barely use your magic, but that’s one of the things she likes about it.

 

When Aidan Merrick, the most powerful shifter in the city, hires her to find an ancient scroll, she doesn’t want to take the job. His immense amount of power reminds her of too much of murky memories from a past she can’t remember. But she doesn’t have a choice. The scroll will reveal what she is. And if anyone finds out, she’s dead.

 

REVIEW:
Cass and her sisters don’t remember their past, only that someone was hunting them, so they do their best to live under the radar. Cass is a FireSoul, a person born with the ability to steal powers of another supernatural…the catch? Stealing their powers kills them. Hated and reviled, FireSouls hide themselves for fear of being imprisoned or outright killed—it doesn’t matter if they’re innocent or not. Cass is a treasure hunter who uses her dragon gift to find things she covets most. When Aiden Merrick hires her to find a magical scroll, she almost turned him down. He was too powerful, too male. Worse—the dragon part of her she keeps hidden urges her to claim him as part of her hoard. Unfortunately, if anyone gets their hands on that scroll, her secrets would be revealed and could cost her everything…even her very life.

 

Cass is a hoot! Her quirky personality and wry humor pulled me right into the story. The worldbuilding is unique, the characters so well written that they came alive off the pages. I love Aiden’s and Cass’s unique abilities. Cass doesn’t hold back in battle and can really kick ass. Aiden is strong enough to let Cass take charge, but knows when to step in and pull her out of trouble. From the very first time Cass and Aiden met, sparks fly. Aiden’s refusal to back down is very enduring, his patience matching her stubbornness perfectly. Though they fell for each other a bit too quickly, they felt like the perfect couple. The only draw back was Cass seemed to have two modes—thinking about battle (I loved all the action!) or thinking about Aiden (which became a little repetitive). Overall, a fantastic read. I can’t wait for book two!

 


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April 06, 2016.

The Huntsman

 

There were a number of movies that came out recently that I wanted to see, but I never made it to the movie theatre. I’m still pouting about it a little.

 

DeadPool and Divergent are some of the more recent new releases that I missed. I couldn’t talk anyone into going with me. I could go alone, but I live in a smaller area. There are chances that I could have the whole movie theater to myself or worse, that one creepy stalker guy would be there. Um, no thanks. I’m not that desperate…Yet.

 

I’m really looking forward to The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Don’t the graphics look fantastic? I’m really curious to see how this movie turned out. Talk about drool-worthy characters—both the guys and the girls are all eye candy! I really hope they don’t screw it up!

 

How about you? Do you go see a lot of movies or are you like me and never quite make it? Or are you brave enough to venture out on your own?

 

Huntsman

The Huntsman

 


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April 02, 2016.

StackingShelves

Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, is all about sharing the book you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual.

 

What I purchased last week:

 
Yes, all of these books were $0.99 or $1.99. I know it looks bad, but I did have a gift certificate. *cough* We will ignore the fact that the certificate in no way covered the cost of the books. *cough*
 
 
I picked up one print book this week:

 

I’m excited to read this book. I’ve heard good things about it!

 

Of course, I did manage to find a few free books that are still free as well:

 

 

My book is going back to the editor for one last round of edits, which means I get the whole week to read! Yippee! What books did you get last week? Have you read any of these?

 



March 26, 2016.

StackingShelves

Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, is all about sharing the book you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual.

 

I’ve been busy working on edits for my latest book all week, so not much time reading. That didn’t stop me from hunting up deals, though! What I purchased last week:

 

These books were $0.99 and $1.99, although I did splurge and purchase one at $2.99.

 

Here are a few free books that I picked up that are still free:

 

I’m super excited to start reading Wedding Bells, Magic Spells (Raine Benares Book 8)  by Lisa Shearin ! What books did you get last week? Have you read any of these?